Brooklyn Center is poised to become the latest Minnesota city to raise the tobacco sales age to 21.

The City Council this month approved the first reading of the rule change and is expected to take a final vote on Nov. 13. If approved, the changes will take effect Dec. 21.

The measure would restrict the number of licensed tobacco retailers in the city to 15. There are now 22 tobacco retailers in town, according to City Clerk Barb Suciu.

“If someone does not renew [a license], then we are not going to open up another one,” she said. “The eventual goal is to get down to 15.”

In 2014, Brooklyn Center became the first city in Minnesota to set a minimum price for cigars in an effort to curb their appeal among young people.

Hannah Covington


Redmond named new schools chief

Mike Redmond, superintendent of the Goodhue school district in southeastern Minnesota, has been named superintendent of Shakopee Public Schools.

Redmond will start his new job Thursday and be paid $189,000 for the rest of the 2018-19 school year on a prorated basis. Next year, his salary will increase to $193,000.

Leadership of the school district has changed hands frequently since the June 2016 resignation of Superintendent Rod Thompson, who will stand trial next month on charges of embezzling more than $70,000 from the district.

Thompson was replaced with Gary Anger, who began treatment for cancer a short time later. He died in August at age 53. Dave Orlowsky, the district’s data and testing administrator, took the district reins on an interim basis.

Erin Adler

Ramsey County

McCabe starts as Parks and Rec chief

Mark McCabe began work Monday as Ramsey County’s new Parks and Recreation director.

McCabe, who was the operations director and had worked for the county since 2013, will oversee its system of parks, trails, preserves, ice arenas and golf courses. He replaces Jon Oyanagi, who retired in September after nearly five years as director.

McCabe’s experience “positions us well to drive system improvements and innovations,” said Johanna Berg, deputy county manager of economic growth and community investment.

Before joining the county, McCabe worked for the Boy Scout’s Northern Star Council.

Greg Stanley


HRA reopens voucher waiting lists

Bloomington’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority is reopening its waiting lists for residents looking to receive rental assistance.

The waiting lists are for two programs: Housing Choice Voucher, or Section 8, where the tenant pays about 30 percent of their income in rent and the program pays the difference; and Project Based Voucher for three-bedroom homes owned by the HRA, available for five- or six-person households.

The HRA will use a lottery system to choose 1,500 people for the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list and 700 for the Project Based Voucher list. Applications can be filed online the week of Nov. 5-9 at Applicants must live, work, study or receive services in the city.

Miguel Otárola